Background: Many surveys throughout the world have evaluated the smoking behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes of medical students, but no information is available from Albania.
Method: A cross-sectional survey in classroom settings using a self-administered questionnaire was performed at the University of Tirana during October 2000.
Results: In the first and fifth years of medical school, 149 (68.5% women) and 185 (55% women) students, respectively, completed the questionnaire, with overall response rates of 82 and 92%. Tobacco smoking prevailed among males. The smoking rates among first-year medical students were 34% among men and 5% among women. Among fifth-year students, 55% of the men and 34% of the women smoked. The percentages of occasional smokers were 29 and 49%, respectively, among the first- and fifth-year students who smoked. Most medical students reported knowing the health hazards of tobacco. Most students in both groups believed that smoking should be restricted in hospitals. Slightly more than half of the students stated that they will regularly advise smokers against smoking in their future jobs.
Conclusion: Tobacco smoking is common among medical students in Albania. Targeted antismoking training should be mandatory for medical students in Albania.
(C)2002 American Health Foundation and Elsevier Science (USA).